Parks & BBQs - It's what summer is all about!

A few weeks ago, we got the chance to see some old friends - The Smiths. They were here for just a short time, and we decided to meet them with pizzas at a park. I had to post this picture I took of Sam because this is what I like to refer to as "sweet Sam." Sometimes, he gets out of control and really mouthy, and I have to ask him to bring back my "sweet Sam" so I don't lose my mind and ship him off to Alaska! So, this is "sweet Sam."Chloe is just so happy about absolutely everything, and meeting some new friends was about as exciting for her as Christmas morning!
After playing on the play grounds, we let the boys just wrestle in the shade. My boys LOVE to wrestle - especially if it can end with one of them in tears or injured. I grew up with one sister, and a nice, calm house - so I have no idea what to do when things get rowdy!

It all started so innocently . . . . . just laughing, wrestling, and having fun, but . . . .
. . . . then Sam slapped Colten in the face. Colten may not be as totally aggressive as Sam, but he's A LOT bigger. So, when the bigger, big brother got slapped . . . .
. . . . he made sure to remind Sam who's really the boss. And Sam hated that.
Later that evening, we went up to Midway for a farewell BBQ for Ben and Brooke. They moved to North Carolina so Ben could do his final fellowshipping to be an official orthopedic surgeon. Whew! I'm not sure if I got that all right. This is Jake with his cousin Hank. They're the same age almost! There's 3 cousins that are all 2 right now, and I got a lot of pictures of them running around and playing. We love watching them - they're so crazy!

One side note: Jake is in love with cowboy boots. He even wears them with sports clothes - it doesn't matter how dorky he looks, he's not ready unless he has them on!
Here are the 3 2-year olds. I love them. I wish we had more cousins the same age as my kids. There's Will, Jake and Hank.
Nice boots, yeah?
Jake is very sad because Hank is moving away on Monday to Washinton. His dad is going to become a vet! It's a lot of schooling, though, and he'll be gone for a really long time.

Jake is so in love with horses! It was a fun summer day, but when the sun went down, the mutated, monster mosquitos came out and we had to run for cover because they were aggressive!


Happy 4th!

The 4th of July was a lot of fun. After Sam's world championship baseball game, we watched the parade and everyone made a killing! The amount of candy the kids walk away with after the parades, just grosses me out!

The fire truck came and hosed everyone down. I haven't jumped in, myself, but I've been told it's a little painful and a little dangerous with all the kids running and screaming and not watching where they go!
The reptile man came, and the kids just loved holding the enormous snakes. Even Chloe wasn't afraid to pick up the head of one of the enormous snakes!
That night, we did the little grocery store fireworks. Chloe loved them, but when they'd get really loud . . . . .
. . . . she'd get a little nervous and look for a place to hide.
Jake did the same thing.Some of the fireworks were pretty loud!

Sam and Joe did a great job of lighting them up for us!

Of course, we had to have sparklers, and OF COURSE someone got burned! Never fails!
No, these aren't our grocery store fireworks, we hit the baseball diamond to get a good seat for the town firework show. They surprised us by setting them off from just behind home plate, and we were just camped out on the other side of 2nd base. So, it was pretty close and bright and RIGHT over our heads! The boys and Chloe got up and ran around in the outfield acting out a battle scene from some epic war movie. There was a lot of dying on the grass that night!


Sam's Baseball Team

Sam played machine pitch baseball this year with the Rays. He had some good friends on the team - so that made it a lot of fun for him. They went completely undefeated for the whole season and even became the "world champions" after the last tournament game! It was so much fun watching them play and to see how excited they were after every game. It was sports at its finest for my little guy.

One of his best friends, Branson Saunders, was on the team with him -- so even going to practices was fun!
Their coach was awesome -- no pressure on the kids, he just wanted them to know they were doing a great job even when they struck out!
The announcer knows Sam and calls him, "Sam 'the Man' Hansen"
They were SO excited when they won. It was cute!
Joe was there helping out at almost every game, too -- so it was fun to have the whole family there each game.
The trophies were really cool -- little baseball bobbleheads!

The bakery made them custom baseball doughnuts for after the game!!
Even Chloe and Jake got one!!

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